April 25, 2017
Jackie and I have been staying in Riverhead for the past week for family visits, a wedding and to take pictures if only it would stop raining long enough to plant my tripod. To boost our soggy morale, a lunch at the Dockside in the old American Legion Hall in Sag Harbor seemed like just the thing. Sag Harbor is fortunate to have been just far enough off the beaten path and not particularly well publicized so that they have avoided any of the crass commercialization that is so often inflicted on quaint old fishing villages in the USA. The streets are quiet and evocative, with a sense of authenticity that provides a glimpse into the past, where on a cool, damp morning, the smell of the sea pervades the air with its nautical presence.
The main street still slopes gently down to the wharf, harbor and the sea and the streets are still a hub of local commercial activity with not a tee shirt shop in sight. For me, two important lynch pins to the charm of Sag Harbor have always been the American Hotel dating back to the 1800's, still elegant and exuding old world charm, and the 100 year old Sag Harbor Theater which was there in the middle of town last time we were there in the fall of 2016 and is now an empty lot, having burned to the ground in December of 2016. Its smiling face no longer greets visitors, brightly reminding them where they are and how lucky they are to be there. Much has been lost.